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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Council Roundup: federal grant could boost environmental efforts

Bellevue's all-electric truckThe city could expand its hybrid vehicle fleet and provide battery charging spots at various locations for all-electric vehicles through a federal Department of Energy grant program.

Council members on Monday were briefed on how various energy-efficiency efforts could benefit from Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) monies being awarded under federal economic stimulus and recovery efforts. The council was first briefed on the grant program in May.

Bellevue expects to complete an application for $1.29 million in grant monies in the very near future, according to Sheida Sahandy, the city's chief environmental policy advisor. If the grant is approved, the money could come as soon as early fall, she said.

The EECBG program comes at a time when the city, despite budget restrictions due to the recession, is attempting to aggressively pursue a number of environmental stewardship efforts, including a citywide carbon emissions study, expansion of recycling efforts and green building practices.

Sahandy said the federal grant could be used to install electric-car charging spots in various city locations. Other cities and King County are also expected to use EECBG funds to invest in charging spots for all-electric vehicles, which are expected to start to become available to consumers in 2010 and be widely available by 2011.

"Focusing on building charging spots makes a lot of sense when you consider that all-electric vehicles can decrease emissions by as much as 90 percent," Sahandy said.

Other areas the grant funds could be spent include expanding the city's hybrid and electric vehicle fleet. The city currently has 30 hybrid vehicles, and acquired an all-electric truck last year.

Replacing 90 city vehicles in 2010 and 2011 with hybrid and electric vehicles could save the city $570,000 in fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,490 metric tons over the a 10-year period, Sahandy said.

EECBG grant funds could also be used to develop  employer commuter and rideshare  programs, upgrade outdoor lighting at city recreational facilities to make it more energy efficient, and for a House Energy Report program to educate residents about how they can reduce their own energy consumption and carbon footprint.

Feedback: Sheida Sahandy, 425-452-6168 or ssahandy@bellevuewa.gov

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Planning & Community Development
450 110th Ave. NE
P.O. Box 90012
Bellevue, WA 98009
Contact: Jennifer Ewing
Phone: 425-452-6129
E-mail: jewing@bellevuewa.gov

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